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Meeting our big health challenges

Leicester faces a series of massive health challenges – and DMU Local’s community projects are targeted on improving the city’s health now and in the coming years.

One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the growing number of cases of dementia with 38 per cent of people now having a close friend or family member suffering with the condition.

The Government has declared that it intends to make Britain the most dementia-friendly country in the world by 2020 – less than 18 months away.

#DMUlocal is helping to meet that challenge and more than 550 university students and staff have now participated in dementia awareness training in the past three years. They then go on to offer practical advice and support in caring for someone with dementia.

These Dementia Ambassadors create action plans and are raising awareness at the university, local schools and at community events about the issues associated with the condition.


Diabetes is another massive health concern with more than 28,253 diagnosed with the condition in Leicester and the rise in the past 12 months is a staggering 33 per cent.

Type 2 diabetes is by far the most prevalent due to poor diet and lifestyle and particularly physical inactivity and it is another health challenge being met by #DMUlocal.

The university is working to train community champions and, working with Diabetes UK, has now trained 235 volunteers. These volunteers have attended community events and school assemblies and are offering city residents information about preventing type 2 diabetes, becoming more aware of the symptoms and managing the condition.

In Leicestershire, every day 10 people are told they have cancer, and 5 people die from the illness. By 2030, an estimated 48,000 people in the county will be living with cancer.

#DMUlocal has joined with cancer support charity Macmillan and is helping to provide emotional and practical support for people in Leicester dealing with cancer.

The university has trained student volunteers who provide friendly support and also sources of information and help available in Leicester at a difficult time.

Student volunteers are needed

You can get involved by volunteering on one of our health projects.

DMU Befrienders make a difference to the lives of older people by offering support to those who may be socially isolated or lonely. The project is run in partnership with NHS Leicester. It marks the 70th year of the NHS and aims to work with those aged 70 or over.  Volunteers will be required to attend Induction training. If interested, go to...

Belgrave Cancer Support is an informal social group attended by 8-12 ladies from a South Asian background who have been affected by cancer. The ladies enjoy getting together on Friday afternoons for a chat over cake and coffee or undertaking activities such as arts and crafts, social walks or learning new skills such as basic IT .  Our volunteers are on hand to help with activities as well put forward ideas for things that the group can do.  If interested, go to...